This is another book reviews that I’ll be posting through Speakeasy; they give out free books in return for bloggers’ honest reviews of these books.
Over winter break, I read Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the Meal by Milton Brasher-Cunningham. He looks at different meals throughout his life and re-tells them as metaphors for Communion; there are even poems and recipes to enhance the experience. Topics from soup kitchens, restaurant work, funerary meals, and even baseball, are covered as Brasher-Cunningham weaves Keeping the Feast together. He writes each metaphor with the understanding that Communion is the defining ritual of Christians. By interpreting the facets within such a specifically Christian ritual and connecting it to everyday meal experiences, he reminds us that love can be expressed in the most unexpected times, and that the holy is in and around the mundane parts of life.
Brasher-Cunningham reminds us that “the opposite of remember is dismember: to take apart” (122). As followers of Jesus join together to remember Jesus in the Communion meal, we are partaking in an act of will to choose love over dissent, and togetherness over divisiveness; we define our identity around this meal and in this ritual (10). His honest and detailed stories, recipes, and metaphors provide a refreshing avenue to re-visit one of the most ancient rituals for Christians.
Overall, this book provides a set of short, enjoyable, and unique approaches for engaging the meal aspect of the Lord’s Supper, Communion, or Eucharist (whichever you choose to call it). Keeping the Feast is deeply theological, but more importantly, it is deeply human. All persons eat and prepare food; in doing so, we share in experiencing and carrying all that these meals bring along with them as fellow humans. In shared meals, he writes that these times together become ritual, that they become “memory, comfort, love, and even hope” (116). Even more, he writes that “the point of life is to be together… to love all one anothers, and to struggle against everything that leads us away from that love” (117). I was encouraged to read Keeping the Feast and grow my own understanding of Communion and the meal that has been shared throughout history as a way of remembering God’s love among us and promises for tomorrow.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.